All Saints Sunday – John 11:32-44 “Where have you laid him?” Jesus asked them. “Lord, come and see.” The thing that strikes me most about Mary and Martha in today’s gospel (John 11:32-44) is their loneliness. They’re lonely. They’re lonely for their brother. They’re lonely for Jesus. They’re lonely for the life they used to have. They are alone in their loss and they feel … Continue reading Unbinding Abundance – An All Saints’ Sermon On John 11:32-44
After three and a half months on sabbatical I can say, without reservation, I like the sabbatical life. But I also want you to know that each day of the last three and a half months I’ve carried a pendant of St. Philip in my pocket and I’ve carried you in my heart and love. You were with me each step of the way – … Continue reading Taking the Next First Step – An All Saints Sermon on John 11:32-44
“If only he hadn’t died.” “If only she hadn’t left.” If only I had made a different decision.” “If only I hadn’t said that.” “If only I had not done that.” “If only things were like they used to be.”
I suspect all of us have, at some time, lived an “if only” life. It could be about anything: our nation, our church, our society, our schools, our family, our marriage, our children, our selves. Ultimately, though it is about the past. We want to preserve what was and keep things the way they’ve always been. We want to undo what is and go back to what was. Sometimes the words “if only” betray our attachment to the past, our dislike of what is, or our fear of something new. Almost always they come from a place of sorrow and loss, regret, failure, or disappointment.
The illusion of “if only” wraps around our lives like grave clothes. We use it to try to bind up what has fallen apart, preserve what is decaying, and tie us to what has been lost. If you know the illusion of “if only” then you probably know Mary and her sister, Martha. Continue reading “Unbinding and Letting Go of the Past”
Today, November 1, is the Feast of All Saints. The collect and scriptures for today can be found here. The lectionary appoints John 11:23-44 as the gospel. As permitted by the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer I lengthened the gospel to begin at verse 17. 17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was … Continue reading A Sermon for the Feast of All Saints